A long, lazy, lie-in. One eye opens to look at the clock. A sigh. A small smile and back to sleep. Snoozing.
I think I was lying on a beach in the warm sunshine when the truck arrived. I had to fling myself out of its path and I nearly flung the wrong way. A noise of screaming brakes, of metal on metal, of my sunlounger crumpled into nothing. The truck lumbered into what was not a beach, but the drive of the house where I used to live, tearing down a wall on its way.
I dusted myself off, confused. And then I realised why. It was – as they say in all the worst soaps – a dream.
The terrible noises were real enough. Outside, a huge tipper lorry was dumping a load of sand and gravel into the road. Bags of cement arrived and finally a cement mixer.
So, I transported from the Arms of Morpheus to a building site in seconds.
Once I had recovered enough from my near accident to realise it wasn’t real, been outside for a bit of a chat and to take the photograph, and had some breakfast, I realised something. There was no transition, no middle. Just a beginning and an end. Sleeping, dreaming pleasantly, to frightened witless. Transitions are important in novels as well as in real life, and we leave them out at our peril if we are not to scare our characters and our readers. Unless, of course, this is exactly what we need to do to bring them up short. The equivalent of a bucket of cold water over the head.
Or the appearance of a bucket of sand in a dream.